Bruce Willis and daughter Tallulah Willis attend his 2018 Comedy Central...

Bruce Willis and daughter Tallulah Willis attend his 2018 Comedy Central roast in Los Angeles. Credit: Getty Images For Comedy Central / Neilson Barnard

Tallulah Willis, the youngest daughter of divorced film stars Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, says that after “a share of avoidance and denial that I’m not proud of,” she has begun to fully process her 68-year-old father’s progressive dementia.

“I’ve known that something was wrong for a long time,” Tallulah Willis, 29, said of Bruce Willis’ frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in a Vogue magazine essay published Wednesday. The family had announced the diagnosis in February, following a previous diagnosis they made public in March 2022 as the language-center brain disease aphasia.

“It started out with a kind of vague unresponsiveness, which the family chalked up to Hollywood hearing loss: ‘Speak up! “Die Hard” messed with Dad’s ears,’ ” Tallulah Willis continued. “Later that unresponsiveness broadened, and I sometimes took it personally,” due to depression and self-image issues including the eating disorder anorexia nervosa that she discusses in detail.

She said of her father’s illness, “I remember a moment when it hit me painfully. I was at a wedding in the summer of 2021 on Martha’s Vineyard, and the bride’s father made a moving speech. Suddenly I realized that I would never get that moment, my dad speaking about me in adulthood at my wedding. It was devastating. I left the dinner table, stepped outside, and wept in the bushes.”

Now, she says, “Every time I go to my dad’s house, I take tons of photos … . I have every voicemail from him saved on a hard drive. I find that I’m trying to document, to build a record for the day when he isn’t there to remind me of him and of us.”

Two-time Emmy Award winner Bruce Willis — who leapt from the TV series “Moonlighting” to films including the long-running “Die Hard” franchise, “Pulp Fiction” (1994), “12 Monkeys” (1995), “The Fifth Element” (1997), “The Sixth Sense” (1999) and others — can now “be reliably found on the first floor of the house, somewhere in the big open plan of the kitchen-dining-living room, or in his office,” she said. “Thankfully, dementia has not affected his mobility.”

Her father “still knows who I am and lights up when I enter the room,” she said, adding, “And now that I'm feeling better,” after treatment and medication for her own diseases, “I ask myself, How I can make him more comfortable?”

“Took a brave leap,” she wrote afterward on Instagram, “and shared a very honest part of life with the hopes that it resonates with people and creates connectivity in the places of loneliness."

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